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Cheap achro refractors


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I seem to like buying cheap achromatic refractors. And imaging with them. Visual too sometimes. My latest I just got in excellent condition two days ago a Bresser Quasar 80mm/900  F11.3  cost £30 and £9 postage haven't imaged with it yet. Wonder how good the lens is ? will find out soon.

I get immense fun with these cheap instruments. None are cheap performers in the slightest. Those on a budget. Could get some real use out of any of them I am sure..  Will they compete with my 245 mm Newtonian Or 8" Stella Lyra CC ? Of course not, that's missing the point. But they really are so much fun, small cheap lunar and planetary performers looking forward to using the new addition to the family

Click images for full size

Love my Sky watcher   70MM F12 Capricorn cost me £39 Image it took of the sun

Swift 831 1969  77mm F 13 (japan) cost around £120

image it took of the moon

lastly my other Bresser 127 l F9.5 Cost me about £190 

Image I took of the sun with it. mono and Saturn

 

bresser sgl.jpg

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70mm sw capricorn sun

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swift moon

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Bresser sun and saturn

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70mm Capricorn moon

 

 

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Edited by neil phillips
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Great stuff, Neil.

Back in my youth in the 70's, any of your scopes would have been aspirational for most of us.

The Swift 831 is an absolute classic and of great optical quality..and still highly regarded today.

The 5" achro from Bresser has been around for years under the Meade AR 127l F9 badging and is a very capable all rounder👍.

Dave

Edited by F15Rules
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36 minutes ago, Alien 13 said:

If Newton had one of these in his day we would have no reflectors now, had an ST80 long ago and the views were really stunning. 

Alan

I know most might wonder what they think i am doing ? I Say don't underestimate cheap long focus refractors. Colour corrected not really. Does it bother me ? not a lot actually as i realize what they cost me. And the performance is way way above that, and can be sharp the 70mm/900 is very very sharp. As soon as I got it I was flabbergasted. Newton would have enjoyed it i am sure

Edited by neil phillips
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12 minutes ago, F15Rules said:

Great stuff, Neil.

Back in my youth in the 70's, any if your scopes would have been aspirational for most of us.

The Swift 831 is an absolute classic and of great optical quality..and still highly regarded today.

The 5" achro from Bresser has been around for years under the Meade AR 127l F9 badging and is a very capable all rounder👍.

Dave

All of the above Dave totally agree. The Bresser 127l is a taste of the high life but at a fraction of the cost. Perfect far from it. powerful you bet

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37 minutes ago, neil phillips said:

Great fun Arnt they 

They are except spent £130 on the 5" then got a dual focuser from a friend at a reduced price but had to pay another £130 for the adapter plate made for me by Mark from Moonraker telescopes. 

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1 hour ago, Alien 13 said:

If Newton had one of these in his day we would have no reflectors now, had an ST80 long ago and the views were really stunning. 

Alan

My ST80 is my most used scope (I'm visual only).  I did put a Crayford on it - cost more than the scope did.  😁

Edited by jjohnson3803
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I purchased two of the Celestron 70mm StarSense Explorer telescopes to cannibalise the push to units.  The telescopes, including the cheap looking diagonal and eyepieces were surprisingly good.  It's just a pity that at the price point, a better mount can't be provided to a similar performance, it makes the operation of the whole package difficult for a beginner to realise the potential.    ☹️

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I have an old Helios 120 which is a lot better than you might think.

Here it is after a paint job and mounted on an EQ-6 I used to have... and a 22mm T4 Nagler I used to have. A great deep sky combination - fabulous views of M42, close to the best I've had from here.

D3H_4123_DxO1200.jpg.ebf45b207b7a1c12fa42f7b5ee2c7517.jpg

 

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I guide with a cheapo achro on one scope and it's miles better than a more expensive and fussy little 'finder guider' which cost more and regularly loses focus. I'm almost embarrassed to say that I haven't refocused the cheapo ST 80 in ten years, though I assiduously scrape the muck of the lens every two or three...

:Dlly

Edited by ollypenrice
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I've had lots of good times with a ST120 and ST80. The ST120 is a lot of unobstructed aperture in a relatively small and light package for a refractor and a really useful feature of the ST80 is how light it is so you can get away with using it on a light / cheap mount and not suffer too much with vibes which helps when you want a really portable set up.

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10 hours ago, wookie1965 said:

They are except spent £130 on the 5" then got a dual focuser from a friend at a reduced price but had to pay another £130 for the adapter plate made for me by Mark from Moonraker telescopes. 

I Fitted the reduction to hexafoc got off here second hand. it does me. I am guessing you got a nice focuser then

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10 hours ago, jjohnson3803 said:

My ST80 is my most used scope (I'm visual only).  I did put a Crayford on it - cost more than the scope did.  😁

I don't mind stock focusers. the new 80mm Bresser i just got. is a serious plastic affair. But tried it and its very functional. works fine. i see no need to replace. The ST 80 sounds like its earned its keep

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10 hours ago, Peter Drew said:

I purchased two of the Celestron 70mm StarSense Explorer telescopes to cannibalise the push to units.  The telescopes, including the cheap looking diagonal and eyepieces were surprisingly good.  It's just a pity that at the price point, a better mount can't be provided to a similar performance, it makes the operation of the whole package difficult for a beginner to realise the potential.    ☹️

Agreed Peter i get around that problem of course by buying just tube assembly's when i spot them. to put on my bigger mount. But also agreed it is a sticking point for one-time beginners. 

That is a shame. I would suggest to beginners get the tube and mount both second hand. But that's not always feasible i suppose. And some people only want new. And nothing wrong in that. Or retailers would take a hit. 

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On 14/10/2022 at 20:54, Mr Spock said:

I have an old Helios 120 which is a lot better than you might think.

Here it is after a paint job and mounted on an EQ-6 I used to have... and a 22mm T4 Nagler I used to have. A great deep sky combination - fabulous views of M42, close to the best I've had from here.

D3H_4123_DxO1200.jpg.ebf45b207b7a1c12fa42f7b5ee2c7517.jpg

 

I don't doubt it, Michael. If my mass produced 127l is anything to go by. Yes, they have optical problems. But not to the point of being rubbish. far from it. Solar work is pretty darn good. which is easy to tell from the pic I supplied. Most of  the Helios stuff looks pretty good. Nice paint job. it looks very professional 

Edited by neil phillips
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10 hours ago, ollypenrice said:

I guide with a cheapo achro on one scope and it's miles better than a more expensive and fussy little 'finder guider' which cost more and regularly loses focus. I'm almost embarrassed to say that I haven't refocused the cheapo ST 80 in ten years, though I assiduously scrape the muck of the lens every two or three...

:Dlly

Different appreciation I suppose. But still clearly, they have more than one strength. 

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8 hours ago, Paz said:

I've had lots of good times with a ST120 and ST80. The ST120 is a lot of unobstructed aperture in a relatively small and light package for a refractor and a really useful feature of the ST80 is how light it is so you can get away with using it on a light / cheap mount and not suffer too much with vibes which helps when you want a really portable set up.

Been thinking of getting one for scanning around. But i do have 20x 80s binos for that. So not sure its necessary. But heard similar  from what you said. Quite a few times. The 120 might be interesting if I could pick one up. Have to be careful at the moment I am trying to save for a bigger scope than my 245mm Newt 

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12 minutes ago, neil phillips said:

Different appreciation I suppose. But still clearly, they have more than one strength. 

Yes. I still have a 6 inch Bresser-branded achromat (the longer FL version) and, though it hasn't been used in a while, gives a very decent view and looks like a telescope.

Olly

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I bought a completely busted up Bresser AR-152S about eight or nine years ago and got to work fixing it. I mostly completed the work apart from some testing, tweaking and cosmetics, but unfortunately I moved before I got to the final stages and it's been in storage ever since! Hope to be reunited with it soon, it's a beast. 

post-8274-0-52819900-1408988396_thumb.jpg

 

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11 minutes ago, badhex said:

I bought a completely busted up Bresser AR-152S about eight or nine years ago and got to work fixing it. I mostly completed the work apart from some testing, tweaking and cosmetics, but unfortunately I moved before I got to the final stages and it's been in storage ever since! Hope to be reunited with it soon, it's a beast. 

post-8274-0-52819900-1408988396_thumb.jpg

 

After my results with its smaller brother. I hope it inspires you to finish off the small touches and testing. They really are great refractors for the price. 

Looking good btw 

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Cheers Neil, yes it was a right state when I bought it - but thankfully it was very cheap! Focuser bolts sheared off in the tube, one of the lens cell lugs completely broken off, various bits missing and a large chip in the objective (thankfully only about 2-3mm into the aperture though). Honestly looked like it had been chucked down the stairs 😱

Manged to repair or replace almost everything but never managed to get it out for a first light. 

Edited by badhex
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